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Souvenirs

July 22, 2008 | Format: MP3

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Also available in CD Format
Song Title
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Popularity Prime  
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5:08
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Product Details

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This album is sheer brilliance! I'd been itching to check out The Gathering long before their latest 'Souvenirs' came out but I'm glad I started with this because it's going to be an interesting journey to hear how they've grown from their debut 'Always', which was released back in '93. I now own 'Mandylion' in addition to this and albeit very good, it pales in comparison with what I already consider to be their triumphant masterpiece.
The music found on 'Souvenirs' is dark and melodic. I'm reluctant to call this Gothic Metal but it does pertain to some of their arrangements; however, there's thankfully no screaming or growling here and the rhythms are as elegant as they are heavy. Anneke Van Giersbergen is the main female vocalist for the group and she's got an impressive range that's striking and emotive. With the exception of a few, I've never heard a more beautiful voice in my entire life. Her dramatic singing style captivates and tantalizes the listener to the point where they can't get enough! I admit, the album loses a bit of luster towards the middle but it soon regains its power and there's never a dull, redundant moment on the CD, so there won't be any need for skipping tracks. It's enjoyable from start to finish and I find it quite difficult to pick favorites, although the sad yet gorgeous lament of "You Learn About It" seems to standout the most with me and I can't help but sing the words with her. I also love the closing track, "A Life All Mine", which comes in after about 4 minutes of silence with Trickster G. from the group Ulver lending his gloomy vocals to harmonize with Anneke's.
Step into your mind and 'Souvenirs' will take you places you never thought possible.
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Format: Audio CD
Even now with their fifth album, the Gathering has demonstrably proved that they are only getting better. Yes, _Mandylion_ was their best-selling album but the maturation of this special group over the years has since improved them tenfold. _Souvenirs_ is their best album. I say this because I think it is the deepest and most complex release of theirs, and the first album that barely suffices with peripheral listening. This really demands one's attention otherwise it makes for merely some pleasant tunes, and then you are only hearing 1/100th of the music.
Elements of pure songcraft and sonic experimentation are perfected here, with Anneke van Giersbergen's voice is worth dying for. _Souvenirs_ perfectly captures the Gathering with unfettered creativity, confidence, deep wall-of-sound arrangements that recall Radiohead, polished post-rock atmospheres, and a haunting electronic-acoustic mix of textures. The metal days of heavy guitars and epic synths in _Nighttime Birds_ and _Mandylion_ are gone. The twin guitars are used for texture rather than virtuosity, and hollows of space are filled with sounds that come from no discernible human source. The harmonic and rhythmic development is subtle and even minimalist at times. Themes are sparingly orchestrated and the band keeps its textures astoundingly clean and clear. Synths are minimalist since there is no need for symphonic pretenses because the melodic themes and atmospheres are powerful in their own right. Songs are full of subtle tricks and sounds, but it would all be gimmicky if the songs were no good. But...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm just at a loss for words. Wow...

I found this group from a recommendation on my Amazon friends list. I've never heard any of The Gatherings previous works other than a few songs that are featured on their page on MySpace (which are great songs). I went to a music store near me and was surprised to find that they were listed in the heavy metal section. The songs on MySpace and the clips of Souvenirs on Amazon gave me the impression this group was anything but a heavy metal band, but I was wrong. The music store didn't have Souvenirs, which is the album I was really interested in listening to. Instead, they had Manylion and Nighttime Birds. I liked what I heard from those albums, but they were indeed a lot more `heavy metal' than what I'd heard of Souvenirs so I opted in not buying them. I really wanted my first album by them to be Souvenirs because the sound was a little more in my general taste than their more metal stuff...then once I got a good feel for the Souvenirs album I would start exploring their other stuff.

So I just got Souvenirs and I must say I am blown away. The first song on the album, These Good People, packs a wallop and just immerses and captivates you. The song builds up with this sexy base beat, combined with eerie piano in the background, then the song sort of explodes with the guitars and backup vocals. Anneke Van Giersbergen, the main vocalist, is just truly amazing. There are good singers in this world that are very pleasurable to listen to due to their talent, but they lack that raw emotion that digs its way into your heart. Anneke is an extremely talented singer with amazing range, and then on top of that you hear her emotion in her voice. She sings from her heart and that makes all the difference.
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